The DTF (𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐜 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬’ 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐭) unequivocally condemns the shocking highhandedness displayed by the Jamia Administration in dissolving the Teachers’ Association and in suspending the Returning Officer appointed by the Executive Committee of the JTA to conduct its forthcoming elections.
On dissolving of JTA, its president Professor Majid Jamil told the OT over phone that our term expires in November and the administration has no right to dissolve it. Also, the JTA has called GBM to discuss suspension of its colleague tomorrow, he said.
The OT tried to reach the university Registrar to get his view on the development but he was not available.
In a memo issued by Registrar Nazim Husain Al-Jafri on Thursday, the university said it informed Professor Sonya Surabhi Gupta that her appointment as returning officer is unlawful as the constitution of JTA has not been approved by the competent body.
“The act of Prof Sonya Surabhi Gupta is against the clause of Service Agreement UGC Regulation 2018 and JMI Act Statutes and Ordinances which construed grievous misconduct on her part,” the memo read doing the round.
“In view of the above, the Vice Chancellor by exercising the power vested in her hereby places Prof Sonya Surabhi Gupta, Centre for Spanish and Latin American Studies JMI, under suspension with immediate effect pending an inquiry. During the suspension period, she will not be allowed to leave the headquarters without permission of the competent authority,” the memo added.
Gupta, however, rejected all the allegations. “I have not done anything illegal and whatever actions I have taken it was done as part of JTA member and as per JTA constitution,” Gupta told PTI over phone.
In another notification on Thursday, the Registrar said the vice chancellor, Jamia, on the recommendation of the deans of faculties has approved to declare the notification by Prof Gupta to conduct the election of the JTA as “null and void”.
“The present teachers’ association is hereby dissolved with immediate effect because their term came to an end on 15.5.2022,” the notification said.
“It further authorised the Vice Chancellor to constitute a committee to look into the shortcomings of the bye-laws/constitution of the JTA and submit a report within a period of one month so that notification of transparent and smooth conduct of election of JTA can be made at the earliest after following due process,” it added.
In its order released today, the Jamia Administration wants to take over the task of amending the JTA constitution and holding elections at a later date, said the DTF.
“This is nothing but an administrative overreach and an assault on the democratic rights of teachers and other employees to form their own associations. Administrations have no right to determine the constitution of employees’ associations or on matters of conduct of elections. This is purely the prerogative of the JTA GBM,” it said.
Further, the Administration has taken the draconian step of suspending, Professor Sonya Surabhi Gupta, a senior Professor of the university, for accepting JTA EC’s request to conduct the elections as Returning Officer (RO), it said in a statement issued to the media.
The charges leveled against in the office order are not only specious but also completely absurd and ridiculous, it said.
“It equates teachers conducting their own elections with engaging in “any trade or business”, or undertaking “any other employment and commitment including private teaching and coaching classes.” The absurdity of the charges reveal the blatant and naked exercise of power by an administration that sees independent unions/ associations as threats,” it said.
The DTF said it demands immediate withdrawal of these office orders.
The DTF called upon teachers across the country to stand up for teachers’ rights to form associations independent of administrative control. Also, the DTF called upon the Federation of Central Universities Teachers’ Association (FEDCUTA) to join voice and initiate protest action in defence of its constituent member association, said the DTF carrying signature of 𝐍𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐚 𝐍𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧, 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭 and 𝐀𝐛𝐡𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐯 𝐇𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐛, 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐲.